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    #161818 - 07/08/13 12:19 PM Flipped classrooms
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Does anyone here have a child in a flipped classroom? I'm dubious about this model. There doesn't seem to be any research assessing its effectiveness (presumably because it's so new). But it seems to be catching on, based on what I found with a simple google search for the term. Is this just another fad? I wonder.

    One of my neighbors told me that her child had just completed a year of geometry in a flipped classroom, and that a kid who had always loved math and done well in it had come to hate it. But this is only one anecdote and so I'm asking this question here as a way of getting more anecdotes. smile


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    #161819 - 07/08/13 12:35 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Val]
    22B Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/10/13
    Posts: 1228
    You could say there are two things that should be happening in classrooms (and have been happening in classrooms for a long time), e.g. "lectures" and "tutorials". "Flipping" sounds like someone's been doing 100% of one of the two things, and decides that they should instead do 100% of the other. In other words, go from unbalanced one way to unbalanced the other. Why not have a balance?

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    #161820 - 07/08/13 12:46 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    The basic idea seems to be that the lecture becomes homework, and the exercises are done in class. Conceptually, it seems to make a lot of sense, as most of the good-quality questions are generated when putting the ideas into practice. It means a qualified teacher is there to respond to "homework" questions, which relieves the responsibility from parents, who are often not qualified at all.

    I wouldn't read too much into a mathy kid who hates geometry based on a particular delivery mechanism, because I knew a lot of kids who loved math but hated geometry for no better reason than because it was geometry.

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    #161822 - 07/08/13 12:52 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Dude]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    I wouldn't read too much into a mathy kid who hates geometry based on a particular delivery mechanism, because I knew a lot of kids who loved math but hated geometry for no better reason than because it was geometry.


    Well, like I said, it was an anecdote and I seek more information here. I like 22B's observation about the need for balance, though.

    The primary reasons for my suspicion about the effectiveness of this method are that:

    1. Students can't raise their hands during a video lecture and say, "Wait, I didn't get that." Pressing the rewind button will not always work in this situation.

    and

    2. People seem to be jumping into this method without any solid evidence for its effectiveness.

    I'm similarly skeptical of the effectiveness of online learning for the same reasons (especially #1). My son has done a year of online courses and almost all of them have required significant help from the scientist and engineer in the family. I'm not sure how kids who aren't surrounded by highly educated people can truly get a lot out of online courses as they're currently modeled (i.e. very little live instructor time).

    If anyone knows of a decent research study, I'd love to see it. I just haven't found one in my admittedly quick searches.


    Edited by Val (07/08/13 12:57 PM)

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    #161823 - 07/08/13 01:39 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2634
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: Val

    1. Students can't raise their hands during a video lecture and say, "Wait, I didn't get that." Pressing the rewind button will not always work in this situation.

    and

    2. People seem to be jumping into this method without any solid evidence for its effectiveness.


    Some flipped classrooms expect students to watch Khan Academy videos at home. I've read that the genesis of Khan Academy is that Salman Khan used to tutor nephews and nieces over the phone, created videos to supplement his phone lessons, and found that his nephews preferred the videos because they could rewind them.

    Is a "flipped classroom" really a novel concept? In high school English classes, we discussed books we were expected to read at home. This also happens on college humanities seminars. Of course, the problem with this method is that students often fail to do their reading. A justification for the lecture format is that it is the only way to ensure that recalcitrant students are exposed to the material.

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    #161824 - 07/08/13 01:44 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Val]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Val
    The primary reasons for my suspicion about the effectiveness of this method are that:

    1. Students can't raise their hands during a video lecture and say, "Wait, I didn't get that." Pressing the rewind button will not always work in this situation.


    But they can ask those questions the next day in class.

    Originally Posted By: Val
    2. People seem to be jumping into this method without any solid evidence for its effectiveness.


    You can't gather that evidence without putting it into practice somewhere, though.

    My primary concerns would be:

    1) This method, widely deployed, would eat up all the students' time outside of school. It also creates inefficiencies in the use of school time, because a student who gets it from the previous night's lecture can complete the assignment in 15 minutes, but it still stuck in class for the full 50 minutes.

    2) Failure to view the lectures outside of school would be a widespread problem, leaving teachers to re-teach the material to those who skipped, and short-changing the students who didn't.

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    #161825 - 07/08/13 01:54 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Dude]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3294
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: Val
    2. People seem to be jumping into this method without any solid evidence for its effectiveness.


    You can't gather that evidence without putting it into practice somewhere, though.


    I agree, but this is what evidence-based approaches address. People accept that, overall, evidence-based medicine is the best system we have for treating patients. This is why Mr. Joe can't sell a special elixir that cures cancer, eczema, and old age until he proves that his elixir works as advertised.

    IMO, the education field would benefit from adopting this approach. There are too many fads that catch on, burn brightly for a while, and then die when the research finally shows that they don't work. Whole-language reading is one particularly egregious example of this problem.

    I agree with your two lower points, though.


    Edited by Val (07/08/13 01:59 PM)

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    #161828 - 07/08/13 02:02 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Val]
    Mk13 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/20/12
    Posts: 761
    I agree with both points Dude mentioned.

    What stands out to me, is that the brighter / faster / gifted kids instead of getting the concept quickly in the classroom and having their afternoons / evenings free to explore other areas will be stuck watching lessons at home and then bored out of their minds in class.


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    #161829 - 07/08/13 02:14 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Val]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2634
    Loc: MA
    Here is a link to a discussion of a 2011 NYT article on flipped classrooms using Khan Academy

    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/BB/ubbthreads.php/topics/117553/Khan_Academy_NYT_article.html .

    Students were able to work on different topics at the same time.

    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

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    #161830 - 07/08/13 02:15 PM Re: Flipped classrooms [Re: Val]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I agree, Val.

    I'm very suspicious of "Flipped Classroom" zealotry.

    That is how I see much of the hype here-- it's related somehow to the latest buzz over MOOC.. blah-blah-blah, efficiency, blah-blah-blah... online-learning... empowerment... blah-blah-blah...

    I've become increasingly cynical about this sort of thing, quite honestly. I think that administrators will pretty much pick up anything that is new and shiny. Even if it isn't, if you slap a patent medicine LABEL on something old and none-too-spiffy, that is sometimes enough. Administrators are like crows or raccoons, with an eye for anything shiny that might improve their status. :sigh:

    Didn't we already TRY this in the 1970's with recorded video? Wasn't THAT going to cause a complete "revolution" in teaching and learning?? Oh, right. This is different. This is "disruptive technology." Sure.

    It's alternative format textbooks. For visual learners, frankly, it is a DISASTER when 'flipped' classrooms replace written texts with video snippets-- and they do.

    More cynically, I think that the actual impetus for this shift is that MOST students fail to do assigned reading and always have. The stupid part is thinking that educators can actually "fix" this problem from their end in the first place. They can't. But they've looked at the problem and concluded that students are "not sufficiently engaged" by print textbooks... "lack the attention span" for 'dry' presentations... Therefore, we need to solve this problem by making educational presentations compete with Funny YouTube Cat videos, or The People of WalMart. I'm personally more than a little appalled by that turn of events, as I see this as capitulating to completely anti-intellectual forces... and to be doing it in EDUCATION of all things is just so-- so-- well, it's profoundly wrong.

    I also have to agree with Bostonian and others who point out that never have "good" learning environments been passive in the first place. They have always been about having students engaged in active cognitive work IN classrooms-- preferably with adequate preparation prior to class via assigned reading and homework.



    My daughter has been ruined for mathematics by this incredibly wrong-headed approach, and I really very firmly believe this. She simply does not learn much from canned recordings.

    Originally Posted By: Bostonian

    But they can ask those questions the next day in class.


    Yes, well... as someone who has been living this way (via online educational programming) for seven years;

    there is a BIG problem with that method for gifted learners. It prevents them from learning at an appropriate rate. I don't know if anyone else has experienced this first-hand, but this is why I really urge some caution with any online provider with HG kids. Sure, it's "self-paced" but not really if you're not a total autodidact, because you spend a lot of time viewing TINY little chunks of new material and-- waiting for answers to your questions. Sometimes waiting 24 hours for the answer to a five MINUTE question. Very much of that tends to cause shut-down. It's just too energy intensive to be worth the trouble, frankly.

    Besides, this is different from a textbook HOW, exactly? Oh-- right. The textbook is actually superior in this regard because you can flip to the table of contents, the glossary, or the index in search of clarification, in a way that is not possible with a video recording.

    It's not that I'm against prerecorded video lectures. I'm not. I think that they are a great supplement for students that need a slower pace, or for those that are auditory in preferred learning style. But I do NOT think that they can or should take the place of live instruction, or of textbooks.







    _________________________
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